Latest Articles about Domestic/Social

Terrorism Undercuts Putin’s Political Agenda

Executive Summary: The Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) terrorist attack outside of Moscow was an abject failure of the Russian intelligence services, leading officials to push conspiracy theories claiming that Ukraine and the West were involved. Moscow’s exploitation of Tajik immigrants, who perform the... MORE

The Kremlin Struggles to Maintain Public Support for ‘Long War’

Executive Summary: Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov recently declared that Russia has been “at war” ever since the West began supporting Ukraine with arms in deviating from the “special military operation” designation and hinting at a future mobilization. The Kremlin and the Russian people are... MORE

Moscow Church Losing Ground Throughout Post-Soviet Space, Including in Russia

Executive Summary: No Russian institution has lost more ground since President Vladimir Putin launched his expanded invasion of Ukraine than the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (ROC MP)—a development that undermines Putin’s “Russian world” vision.  These self-inflicted losses are disrupting the Moscow church’s... MORE

Ideology-Driven Paramilitary Groups Threaten Russia and Beyond

Executive Summary: Ideology-driven paramilitary groups in Russia have grown significantly in size and influence since the beginning of the war against Ukraine, with the Russian Imperial Movement and “Rusich” representing perhaps the most active entities in this regard. Both groups are built on far-right, ultranationalist,... MORE

Moscow’s Disturbing Reaction to Crocus City Hall Attack

Executive Summary: Russia suffered one of the worst terrorist attacks in its history on March 22 when a group of Islamist terrorists attacked Crocus City Hall in Moscow, but the Putin regime’s response appears even more worrisome. Putin has deepened the divide between Moscow and... MORE

Lukashenka and the Nuances of Belarusian Nationalism

Executive Summary: Belarusian statehood and national identity have experienced several transformations throughout history, influenced by connections to Russia and the West. The Belarusian population is divided between two dominant narratives on national identity: the “Westernizing” and Russo-centric perspectives. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka subscribes to the... MORE

Youth Organization Signals Growing Russian Militarization

Executive Summary: The Movement of the First, a successor to the Soviet Pioneers, is growing, indicating the potential for a more radicalized, militarized Russian future. The Kremlin-sponsored organization is ostensibly designed to promote creative work and life in Russia, but its actions suggest that the... MORE